Legislation proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus to investigate claims of irregularities in former presidents’ assets and to establish a legislative committee to oversee cross-strait affairs was referred to the legislative committees for review yesterday without opposition from other caucuses.
The KMT caucus proposed two bills in the Procedure Committee on Tuesday to be placed on yesterday’s legislative floor agenda: a draft on the management and the investigation of presidents’ ill-gotten assets and for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to oversee cross-strait affairs.
According to the former bill, presidents in office since the Act on Property-Declaration by Public Servants (公職人員財產申報法) took effect on July 2, 1993 — which would include former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — and the involved parties would be required to report the properties they had possessed six months before they took office and those six months after they left office.
Assets that are not reported in time would be considered ill-gotten, it states. The bill defines “ill-gotten assets” as those gained by the presidents themselves or by others with the help of the presidents outside of legal channels.
KMT caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) on Monday said the bill is reasonable, adding that as “transitional justice” is being championed, there should not be opposition to the attempt to regulate the presidents’ assets.
Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the KMT caucus is trying to shift public attention away from the controversy concerning its party assets. There is no need for an additional special law, as the presidents are like everybody else and are subject to the existing laws, he said.
According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper), when Lee heard of the KMT’s proposal on Monday, he said: “It is just ridiculous.”
“Okay, let it come. Let us see who would be subjected to [legal] investigation in the end,” he was quoted as saying.
The KMT caucus’ bill for establishing an ad hoc committee was also referred for further review yesterday.
The committee would reinforce the Legislative Yuan’s power in its supervision over and participation in cross-strait affairs.
The bill states that since the constitution of the Internal Administration Committee, the current standing committee responsible for such affairs, reflects the political strength of the parties and could fail to respond to the opinions of the smaller parties, and since the committee members are not all familiar with cross-strait affairs, an ad hoc committee on cross-strait affairs is needed.
The bill proposal’s referral to the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee for further review did not meet with opposition.
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